Wellington is not exactly famous for its restaurants, and that is one of the main reasons Franshhoek, Stellenbosch, Constantia, etc will always attract the vast majority of visitors because they all offer a large selection of fabulous restaurants. Most people plan their visit around a meal, booking a table before choosing which wine farms to visit based on how near they are to the restaurant.
Fortunately, the scent of change is in the air for Wellington (not referring to the stench it used to be famous for when the tannery was there). There is a new restaurant which the locals are raving about, called The Stone Kitchen. It is located at Dunstone winery, on the Bovlei Road just outside town.
We popped in for a quick lunch after a visit to Jorgensen’s distillery. The restaurant is small and simple, as is the menu. As you walk in you will notice a refrigerated display counter with some desserts and deli items. To the left are some stainless steel wine tanks and in the middle of the restaurant a smattering of tables and chairs sporting bright coloured cushions which adds some cheer to the place. There were six of us so we were seated at the long table right at the entrance.
The menu is written on chalkboards and changes regularly as the chef is keen on sourcing as much local and organic produce as possible. There is a kids menu and a play area outside for the kids too. We had heard the beetroot goat’s cheese salad (R40) starter was good so we ordered one of those as well as the nectarine wrapped in bacon starter (R40). We weren’t very hungry so we just passed them around to taste. For mains I ordered the pasta with prawns and asparagus (R70), it was delicious. The pasta was handmade, the prawns were firm and the asparagus fresh. It wasn’t too heavy but very tasty. My partner had the pear and gorgonzola salad (R70) which was a lovely compilation of flavours. Two people ordered the pork and sage burgers (R70) and they raved about them so much I tempted to make them try my pasta to shut them up.
I had a quick look at the winelist, all sourced from the Wellington region. Some excellent wines on the list and all very reasonably priced. The service was keen but quite inept, we had to do a lot of repeating and reminding. But the place is so casual and down to earth, we didn’t really mind.
The Stone Kitchen is a lovely option for breakfast or lunch, a culinary star shining in Wellington.
The Stone Kitchen
Dunstone Estate, Bovlei Road, Wellington
Tel: 021 864 2451
[Pic is courtesy of The Incidental Tourist – follow the link for more pics]
Will be visiting on the 16th of April… hope the service has picked up since your visit!
On my second visit it still lacked depth and initiative, but you’ll be ok.
It’s been an exciting few months at TSK; at the end of May Chef Johan Van Schalkwyk moved on to pastures new, and on 1st June we took over the management with a whole new team. It has been great seeing lots of faithful guests, and of course lots of new visitors too!
So along with a brand new team, what else is new at TSK?
We have kept the blackboard menu design, so that we can change dishes regularly (using only seasonal products). We have also added great lunchtime lighter options, such as filled baguettes, ciabatta, bagels and croissants – all of which are freshly baked to order.
We have added a British twist to bring a little bit of our roots to SA. We have a fantastic sausage making machine, and now make our own sausages using herbs from the garden. This month’s sausage is Thyme, Marjoram and Rosemary (served with mash and onion gravy or in a crusty baguette with onion chutney). In true British style we will also be cooking a pie of the week, such as steak and kidney topped with suet pastry or organic chicken and wild mushroom.
Lots of SA favourites feature too, and this winter these include Venison Casserole served with South African vetkoek dumplings, and slow roasted lamb shanks with Wellington dried fruits
Breakfast is now served all day, with a build your own breakfast option allowing you to order just what you want, whenever you want it.
Our wines are now sold at the table at cellar door prices, giving you the best value. Wine tastings are done at the table allowing you to taste before you buy; we have removed the tasting fee for our diners. We also have lots of new beers such as Darling Ales and Jack Black.
Just released is our 2012 Dunstone Sauvignon Blanc; it’s bursting with plenty of tropical and green fruit flavours, followed by a refreshing fruity acidity. It’s a must to taste.
The restaurant has even more of a comfortable feel to it, as Abbi has injected her feminine charm with new cushions inside and out, and lots of picnic benches in the sunshine. We have a great new extended picnic area under the guava trees, and look forward to launching our picnics in spring.
There’s also a second giant sandpit with lots of buckets and spades for our younger guests!
We have loads to offer, from kitchen teas, baby showers and kiddie’s birthday parties. Our kiddie’s menu caters for children of all ages; they can experience the same culinary delights as you but with a colourful twist – like our new Rainbow Yummy Nana Banana Split! Curious to know what it? Come and have a look!
Hope to see you soon! Please look at our new website http://www.stonekitchen.biz for weekly and monthly specials.
Abbi & Lee